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Yoga Therapy for the Hands, Wrists and Forearms

Beginner I

We use our hands for almost everything we do throughout the day, from checking email to chopping vegetables for dinner. On top of this, if your work requires you to use your hands in repetitive motions, then the muscles and joints of the hands, wrists and forearms are particularly at risk for inflammation.

Practicing this therapeutic sequence of exercises increases strength and flexibility in the small muscles of the hands and fingers, where over 25% of our body’s bones are located, helping reduce inflammation, removing built-up stress and increasing range of motion.

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Comments

Existing Comments

oakhazel
oakhazel
July 6, 2022
Comment:

Thank you, I just happened upon this - just what I needed.

JennS
JennS
December 22, 2019
Comment:

Thank you! This was a great break for my hands during a marathon knitting session.

summer2012
summer2012
August 10, 2019
Comment:

Thanks, I sure can use this exercise because I massage a lot of necks and shoulders.

Beckles114
Beckles114
December 1, 2018
Comment:

Namaste. Thank you Erica for this therapeutic practice. I am a yoga teacher recovering from TFCC cartilage tear and this practice helped me relax and open up the muscles and tendons surrounding my wrist injury. I will be sure to check out more of your practices on this site! Namaste.

ejanedelong
ejanedelong
July 30, 2018
Comment:

I am healing from a sprained wrist and this felt great -- relieved the stiffness that has set in from wearing a wrist brace. Thank you! I am sure this routine will speed my healing!

tulsidream
tulsidream
September 7, 2017
Comment:

Thank you for the video! Short and sweet warm-up for juggling, contact juggling, poi and other circus arts.

spiritqueen
spiritqueen
March 26, 2017
Comment:

I work full time at my keyboard and I had noticed that the top of my right hand would ache or I'd get tingling sensations in my right arm from repeated movements (not so much typing but the darn mouse). I am doing this to find relief as I need my keyboard and mouse to earn my living (I work online full-time). thanks, I think this will help! I already feel better in the arms and this has helped me recognize that my hands need exercise too :)

MANOS DILANS
MANOS DILANS
September 10, 2016
Comment:

great session Erica
I find it helpful before my training in handstand pushups
I appreciate it
Manos

Erica Fritch
Erica Fritch
September 13, 2016
Comment:

That's great to hear, Manos. It's easy to forget or overlook, or not even know, that you need to do some therapeutic work when you are working so specifically on new strengths. Keep at it for the handstand work, and you will likely be able to progress quicker and be less likely to injure yourself! This is a perfect compliment for balancing on your hands.

improviselife
improviselife
March 25, 2016
Comment:

The whole sequence left my arms and hands feeling refreshed and invigorated. I'm a massage therapist and have just found my new regular practice to help keep things functioning well! Thanks very much!

Erica Fritch
Erica Fritch
March 29, 2016
Comment:

Great to hear that you are taking care of yourself this way. It seems especially easy to neglect your body when you do something as physically demanding as massage therapy, but that's really when you need to be most diligent! I'm glad it's helping. Keep it up!
Erica

jakebuck
jakebuck
March 24, 2016
Comment:

Hi Erica. I'm 21 years old and I think I am well too young to have the amount of tightness in my hands that I do. I worked construction the past two summers when I wasn't in school and that's where I think this tightness has come from. Even though I'm not doing construction right now (just school) my hands are still insanely tight and seem to be getting worse. I can seriously feel a ball of tight muscles in the webbing between my index finger and thumb. I also have a lot of tightness in that muscle on the outside of the hand below the pinky. My forearms and wrist also have really tight muscles. The tightness never goes away; it's constantly there every hour, day and night. I'm concerned for myself and feel like the posture of my hands is getting poorer. I stretch them at a very minimum of 10 minutes each morning, because I would not be able to get through a day without the stretching. But that still seems to only go so far and will only last me for about an hour before I feel the same tightness i felt before I stretched.

Just this week I started doing yoga for my hands and have found an amazing amount of relief of tension in my fingers and arms as I watch your video and others. Do you have any idea what my hand problem might be? Seriously, I'm 21. I don't think I should be having to go to this great of lengths just to have my hands feel normal for an hour out of the day. Any suggestions or thoughts? Would love to hear from you. This video has been great for me so far. Thank you so much.

Erica Fritch
Erica Fritch
March 29, 2016
Comment:

Hi jakebuck,
It does sound like you have more going on than most people, and are right to think about the future. I'm glad you are getting some relief from stretching.
I suggest going to your doctor, if you have not already. I know sometimes the tendons can get really short and tight in hands and not allow for full range of motion or for the muscles to ever relax fully, A massage therapist could, hopefully, bring some relief. The balls of tension sound like trigger points. Those need to be completely dissolved and worked out for the muscles to actually relax and lengthen. Using a therapy ball is really useful for that.

Energetically, the hands are part of the heart chakra and have to do with how we give and receive love and the world in general. (I hope that does not sound too hokey!) There can also be energetic holding from all sorts of different life experiences. This often contributes to things that seem more extreme than expected or unexplained. I use BodyTalk for my energetic and councelling issues. You can Google and find someone, hopefully in your area, though they usually do distance sessions.

You might also want to notice, next time you are using your construction tools, how you hold them. Make sure you are using as little muscular force as possible to get the job done. Hopefully you don't have to do construction again this year or in the future, but it can be useful information and biofeed back about how you use your body and can prevent patterns from repeating in the future.

Ihope that helps! I hope you keep up your stretching and strengthening while you find a more permanent answer.
Erica

mardiz
mardiz
March 2, 2016
Comment:

I have been trying to alleviate DeQuervains syndrome for months now. I have been doing bits and pieces of what you pull together for me in this video. Hopefully it will not aggravate it an make it worse while it builds some strength and more flexibility. I am going to try and do this on a daily basis for awhile and see if it helps

Erica Fritch
Erica Fritch
March 7, 2016
Comment:

Mardiz, you are wise to start slow and do only parts of the series with your condition. Keep it up, and i have no doubt that you will build your strength and mobility in equal measure.
Good luck with your healing!

Scevas
Scevas
June 9, 2015
Comment:

I have to say I am so surprised how loose and fantastic my hands feel after this. They were so relaxed it was almost a challenge to type! Thanks for the great yoga lesson!

Erica Fritch
Erica Fritch
March 7, 2016
Comment:

Incapacitated through relaxation! I think there is no higher compliment to a yoga teacher and yoga practice.

Rowan-Foxhorn
Rowan-Foxhorn
July 16, 2014
Comment:

I was a little sore after my first use of these stretches, but all of the numbness in my fingertip and the ache in my thumbs from giving massages eased immediately!!!

govinda
govinda
July 17, 2014
Comment:

So great to hear, Rowan-Foxhorn. I have Thai and Ayurvedic massage training, so I know all about the challenges of sustaining healthy, happy body through that practice. It's a great set of exercises for yourself and to give your clients - I'm sure all of them could use this, too!
Thanks for practicing,
Erica

raeesa
raeesa
May 17, 2014
Comment:

My right hand has been sore from writing. It pains me to type, too. But I felt an immediate improvement after this simple stretch. I'm going to make it a part of my routine.

govinda
govinda
July 17, 2014
Comment:

Yes, Raeesa; that's what I like to hear! Glad you are finding these exercises as effective as I do.
Thanks for practicing,
ERica

kirkau
kirkau
February 11, 2014
Comment:

I do a lot of typing in my work, and boy do I need to do these exercises more often. I also tend to have really cold hands and feet, and this practice warmed up my fingers very nicely.

govinda
govinda
July 17, 2014
Comment:

Great, kirkau! I had not noticed a temperature change in my hands myself, but that makes total sense. More blood flow and drainage will certainly help with temperature regulation. Thanks for passing on the benefit!
And thanks for practicing!
Erica

daveofnorway
daveofnorway
March 15, 2014
Comment:

I found this relaxing and good for my tennis elbow, thank you so much I will be using this regularly :)

govinda
govinda
July 17, 2014
Comment:

Hey Daveofnorway,
Are you still practicing this regularly? I would love and update on your tennis elbow. It's amazing how much the smaller, more mobile joints can take up slack and compensate for larger joints that have tightness or inflammation. I'm so glad to hear that this makes a difference for you.
Thanks for giving it a try,
Erica

Suzzann
Suzzann
August 6, 2013
Comment:

It doesn't need any equipment, and you stand the whole time, and it's only 10 minutes. How much better can you get for those who are on a tight schedule?

govinda
govinda
July 17, 2014
Comment:

You got it, Punkypooch. You could even do this at work. See if you can work it into your day three or four times, and feel the difference after a couple of weeks!
Keep praciting,
Erica

bloominlotus
bloominlotus
May 26, 2013
Comment:

Hello, Thank you very much for this hand yoga practice video. I crochet and knit a lot and was wondering: When is the best time for me to do this practice? Before OR after I begin to crochet/knit? Thank you!

govinda
govinda
May 26, 2013
Comment:

Great question! I recommend doing these exercises before and after knitting. I have done a lot of knitting myself, and know how much your forearms, wrists and fingers can get tight and overused. Focus on the stretches that feel the most intense for you, and even do those ones multiple times during the day to help your arms out, then as maintenance as long as you keep knitting.
here's to a long, knit-filled life!
erica